Beyond Zero (1914-1918)
Monday 18th August
This offering from the Edinburgh International Festival began with a recital of music composed by Aleksandra Vrebalov and performed by the world famous Kronos Quartet to a massive screening of film footage photographed from the start of the first world war to the Bosnian conflict in the 1990’s and called “Beyond Zero 1914 to 1918” A contemporary classical composition of music accompanying the footage of the soldiers who had no choice,other than to fight in this clumsy, barbaric and sad war.
The cello was played by Sunny Yang, violins played by David Harrington and John Sherba, while the Viola was played by Hank Dutt, the latter being the most emotive of instruments to reproduce this contemporary master piece. Seductive and powerful are words that describe the sensations that the music summoned. Death and destruction never sounded so romantic and dare I say it. “Healing.” One has to ask. If the film had not been screened at the same time as The Kronos Quartet’s performance of this sublimely beautiful score, would the association of war have been so forth coming? Music and the way that we receive it is such a personal thing, as are the images that music summons. So on this note I will have to leave that question open,as I do not have the answer. It was an amazing experience. FIVE STARS
Reviewer : Mark ‘Divine’ Calvert